Robert Kraft Says Patriots ‘Plan' to Keep Tom Brady

TMZ Sports caught up with the Patriots owner and asked if New England will re-sign the star quarterback in free agency

Robert Kraft bolstered the hopes of Patriots' fans everywhere on Tuesday, telling TMZ that New England is planning to re-sign their free agent quarterback.

TMZ Sports caught up with the team's owner as he left a building in New York and asked him about Brady's pending free agency.

"Are we going to keep Tom in New England, Bob?!?" TMZ asked.

"We plan to!" Kraft replied, before hopping into a waiting vehicle.

Kraft's latest response is a step up from what he told NBC Sports' Peter King prior to the Patriots' Wild Card Round loss to the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 4.

"My hope and prayer is number one, he play for the Patriots," Kraft said at the time. "Or number two, he retires. He has the freedom to decide what he wants to do and what's in his own best personal interest."

Brady, 42, has said he definitely plans on playing in 2020 but has been noncommittal on whether he plans to return to New England.

In an interview last weekend on Westwood One radio, he said he will embrace the future "with open arms."

"I am open-minded about the process and at the same time I love playing football and want to continue to play and do a great job," Brady said. "I am looking to what is ahead. Whatever the future may bring, I will embrace it with open arms."

But Brady gave Patriots fans a glimmer of hope this week, re-sharing a photo on his Instagram story of a "Stay Tom" message that someone etched into the ice at the Boston Public Garden lagoon over the weekend.

"Love you All," Brady's post said, followed by two heart emojis.

Brady is scheduled to become a free agent on March 18.

NBC Sports Boston contributed to this report.

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